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The Gardens of John and Ellen Levinson, 2003-2010

Provenance:
Sasqua Garden Club
Former owner:
Levinson, John
Former owner and garden designer:
Levinson, Ellen
Architect:
Franzen, John P
Physical description:
1 folder+ 20 digital images, 3 35mm slides (photographs) and 1 photographic print
Type:
Mixed archival materials
Place:
United States of America, Connecticut, Fairfield County, Southport
Connecticut
Southport
The Gardens of John and Ellen Levinson (Southport, Connecticut)
Date:
2003
2003-2010
Notes:
The Gardens of John & Ellen Levinson include oldfashioned plantings that surround a recently installed pool and pool house, which has a stone fac╠žade and wooden pergola that complement the 1830 Federal style house. Those plantings include shrub roses Carefree Beauty and Maitland for continuous bloom, butterfly bush, peonies, geraniums, hydrangeas, honeysuckle and trumpet vines on the pergola, with lower level plantings of lady's mantle, catmint and lamb's ears. The emphasis here is to have color during the summer months, June to September, when the family's entertaining and recreation center on the swimming pool. Alongside in the formal boxwood garden there are container gardens of annuals planted in antique urns, topiaries, azaleas, and two large standard lilacs.
A landscaped walk along a tidal marsh on the nearly twoacre property is planted with shrubs and indigenous seaside plants that provide food and shelter for visiting wildlife. Four casual seating areas for people were designed for viewing the tides as well as the birds. This area has colorful foliage and texture for yearround interest, including 100yearold Sycamore trees at either end of the marsh walk, a wild cherry tree that grows horizontally over the marsh, hollies, cypress, laurels, inkberries, and red twigged dogwoods, and witch hazel and hellebores for late winter blooms. In spring white bleeding heart, primroses, tiarella and other flowers bloom under flowering lilacs, viburnum and crab apple trees, followed by daphnes, irises and geraniums. Summer flowering shrubs include roses and lace cap, oak leaf, paniculata and endless summer hydrangeas, with daylilies, lady's mantle and brunnera blooming in the understory. Next astilbes, Japanese anemones and hostas bloom. Various ferns provide texture to this garden through three seasons.
Other gardens include a border of flowering shrubs, cypress and groundcover along the lengthy driveway, foundation plantings of trees, shrubs and daylilies around the house, an herb garden near the terrace and trough gardens planted with flowering and foliage annuals. An old fishing shed on the property was moved to one side and is used for potting and storing tools, with cherry laurel and astilbe planted nearby. The extensive plantings of hydrangea include a climbing hydrangea in the trees.
Other gardens include a border of flowering shrubs, cypress and groundcover along the lengthy driveway, foundation plantings of trees, shrubs and daylilies around the house, an herb garden near the terrace and trough gardens planted with flowering and foliage annuals. An old fishing shed on the property was moved to one side and is used for potting and storing tools, with cherry laurel and astilbe planted nearby. The extensive plantings of hydrangea include a climbing hydrangea in the trees.
In the nineteenth century, Walter Perry, III owned the waterfront district of Southport, Connecticut, and built this Federal style house for his son Gurdon Perry. The 1830 house is included in the Southport National Historic District, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
Persons associated with the garden include Guordon Perry family (former owners, 1830-1994); John and Maureen Bortolot (former owners, 1994-1995); John and Ellen Levinson (former owners, 1995-2010); John P. Franzen of J.P. Franzen Associates Architects, P.C. (architect, 1995-1996); Nicholas Orban (gardener, 2005-2010); Anthony Perce (gardener, 1929-2011); Kenneth Twombly (plant consultant and garden designer, 1997-2000); Ellen Levinson (garden designer, 1996-2010).
Summary:
The folder includes worksheets, planting plans, and a photocopy of an article.
Publications:
This property is featured in "Walk This Way" by Susan S.H. Littlefield, published in Connecticut Cottages and Gardens, no date; "Tidal Walk" by Paige Porter, published in Coastal Living, no date, "Perennial Favorite" by Megan Fulweiler, published in New England Home's Connecticut, Spring 2011
Topic:
Gardens
Local number:
CT381000
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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